Adam Norton earned the most important win of his career with a complete-game shutout as No. 7 seed Notre Dame dumped No. 2 seed Seton Hall 5-0 in the opening round of the Big East Baseball Tournament. Norton's third solo shutout of 2013 helped the Irish (32-23) stay in contention for a potential NCAA Tournament at-large bid if they do not claim the Big East Championship.
Norton (10-4) is Notre Dame's first 10-game winner since Aaron Heilman in 2001. He struckout seven with no walks while scattering seven hits to become the first Irish pitcher to pitch a shutout at the Big East Tournament since Dan Stavisky in 1996.
Seton Hall had won 15 of its last 16 games and 36 of its last 45 games entering the tournament. The Irish have taken three of four meetings with the Pirates this season. Norton has struckout 20 with no walks in 31.1 career innings against the Pirates.
The Irish plated a run in the top of the first when Big East Player of the Year Eric Jagielo drove-in Frank Desico, who had doubled to start the game. Jagielo ripped an RBI double to left field in the fifth to make it 2-0 and ND then took a commanding 4-0 lead in the sixth thanks to a two-run home run by designated hitter Blaise Lezynski.
Trey Mancini continue to swing his hot bat. The third baseman is in the record books by himself after extending his hitting streak to a new school record 23 games with a single to leadoff the fourth inning. He ended his day with a pair of hits and an RBI, while Jagielo and DeSico each had two hits as well.
The Fighting Irish next face No. 3 seed Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday in Clearwater, Fla. The Panthers pounded St. John's 10-2 in the first game of the tournament Wednesday morning to improve to 41-15.